140403 Mobility WOD

It seems that 14.5 is still lingering for many athletes. I hear that your triceps took quite the beating and they just haven’t been the same. I thought I’d give you a good mob you can do to help loosen up that long common triceps tendon. Here are two short videos:

Both videos show essentially the same mob, I simply included the second video to show the test / re-test of Diane Fu’s right elbow in the front rack position. Dual purpose today, help loosen up that battered triceps tendon, but also add to the arsenal of mob’s to work on attaining a good front rack position.

This last video demonstrates that adding a little pressure to your arm can make a world of a difference. In this set-up your kneeling on the ground. I would highly recommend this set-up:

140326 Mobility WOD

Working on the triceps today. The following video segment is very quick. The mob I want you to try is demonstrated for a split second in this video so pay attention. You’re going to lay on your stomach. Extend on arm out on to the barbell and place the barbell just above your elbow.

You’re going to extend and flex your elbow while your arm rests on the barbell. Then rotate your arm in and out in both positions. So flex the elbow and rotate in and out. Extend the elbow and rotate in and out. The segment is around the 7:15 mark. Once again, it’s pretty quick:

The mob usually does wonders for getting into the proper front rack position as well as achieving proper lock out during most over head movements.

Oh yeah… who’s ready for 14.5??

Are we going to see burpees?

140325 Mobility WOD

Working on our front rack position, opening our shoulders into full external rotation and extension. We need good external rotation in our shoulder during catch of the clean, ergo the front rack. And we also need full shoulder extension when putting that bar overhead for the jerk, overhead squat, pull ups, toes to bar, etc.

Watch the demo video from about 1:10:

Pick one or if you feel daring, do both mob’s.

140320 Mobility WOD

1st day of Spring!!!!!

Today we’ll focus on the elbows, specifically the triceps. Yes, that area in the back of your arm that extends from your shoulder to your elbow. It’s important for just about everything we do with a barbell above our head.

Queue the demo video (just watch from 3:10 – 4:30):

You can either use the barbell with it placed on a squat rack, or you can utilize the barbell with it on the floor loaded with bumper plates (K Starr was mobilizing his hamstrings with the barbell on the floor in this video).

This mob is great for the front rack position as well.


140319 Mobility WOD

Working on the front rack position. You’ll notice we’ll have a lot of repeating themes with mobility. As I said before, mobility is a skill that needs repeated practice. Two videos:

A familiar demo video. Grab  a jump stretch band and work on those shoulders/elbows.

Finish up with:

A beautiful shoulder stretch working on external rotation using our best friend the PVC pipe.


140302 Mobility WOD

Sunday fun-day!

Open gym and some weightlifting followed by those of making another attempt at 14.1 A lot going on.

I would encourage you to review any of the mobs that we’ve gone over through the week, especially working on the hips. I noticed a lot of members having difficulty with my ‘barbell on the thigh squat’ mobility yesterday. I’d try and work on that mob.. as well as that wall squat. For those of you who made it to the Team WOD, we worked on the wall squat (again) and added some passive assistance from a partner.

I think you can figure out how important this stretch is becoming. Here is the video again:

Key points to consider with the wall squat mob:

  • butt is flush against the upright wall
  • during the stretch you want to push your lower back flush against the floor
  • slowly edge your heels towards your butt
  • keep your heels shoulder width apart (approximately the width of your stance during your squat)
  • use your elbows to passively stretch and push your knees out

I’d say keeping your back flush against the floor is probably the most important concept with this mob.

After you’ve spent a couple minutes there I want you to work on elbow and wrist mobility concerning your front rack position. Watch the following video (skip to 2:05 time mark):

Of course you’ll have to use one of our boxes instead of a bench. Here are the key concepts:

  • the wider your grip, the harder it gets
  • the closer your elbows are, the harder it gets
  • rest your elbows on the stationary surface and then lean down – trying to ‘push your armpits to the floor’ (your arms will end up behind your ears)

Good luck to all our athletes completing 14.1!!!

140213 Mobility WOD

Elbows. More Elbows.

I told ya this joint deserved some attention. Today’s mWOD is all about the common triceps tendon on the back of your upper arm. Queue the video:

Grab a barbell. Place it on one of the racks and roll out the back of your arm close to your elbow. Mobilize with your elbow straight and then with your elbow bend. In face roll out that part of your arm while flexing and extending your elbow.

As you noticed Diane Fu did the comparison test. She mobilized on arm and then compared it to the non-mobilized arm. I think we just did this very same thing yesterday? This will be a staple to our mobility work. The comparison test as well as the ‘test, re-test’ concept.

Spend at the very least 1 min, ideally 2 minutes on each arm.

If you’ve never done this before, it may hurt a bit. Heck, don’t be surprised if it hurts a lot. That pain is just a sign of how matted down and junky your triceps tendon really is. Work it out peeps, work it out.

140212 Mobility WOD

We’re going to continue with working on our Front Rack position. Yesterday we payed some attention to the wrists, and as I promised we’re continuing up the arm from the bar to the shoulder. Next joint on our list is the elbows.

We’re going to spend a couple days on this joint folks. It deserves that kind of attention.

This here is a thing of beauty:

Notice the wrists. How many fingers are wrapped around the bar? I don’t see any clawing… do you? Now look at her elbows. The  back of her hands are actually touching her shoulders. Ideally your elbows should be mobile enough that you can achieve this front rack position. As I mentioned before, it’s a multi-joint problem and we’re tackling it one joint at at time.

Your elbows need to achieve an optimum angle between your upper and lower arm. Most of us start at the 70-80 degree range. Our goal is to achieve the 35-45 degree range.


Impossible you say? Take a look at that picture again:


Sort of looks like the 35-45 degree angle huh? ….

Funny how that works?

So how about we revisit yesterday’s video. Pay attention to min 5:00 – 6:00:

The first mob (short for mobility) was done super quick, so I’ll come back to that one another time. I want you to work on the second mob. Attach the jump stretch band to something behind you (pull up rig at the gym is good). Place the band at about waist height. Then wrap your wrist in the band and allow the band to pull your elbow behind your ear. Once you find the point where you can’t go any further, I want you to try and tighten your tricep by extending your elbow (yes your arm will not move while in the jumpstretch band). In other words, try and straighten your elbow. This is what KStarr refers to ‘contract and relax’. Do that 2-3 times holding that position for 10-20 seconds.

I want you to do one arm at a time, just like he demonstrates. After you’ve mobilized one arm test it against the opposite arm. I want you to see the difference. After you’ve made the comparison, mobilize the other arm that needs it. Then compare your arms again with your elbows flexed.

What happened?

(hopefully your joint position improved)

We call that “test-retest”. You’re testing the joint before you mobilize, then you’re ‘re-testing’ the joint after you mobilize. If done correctly you will see a noticeable improvement in your joint position.

If this didn’t make sense to you, it’s OK. Do what you can. Ask questions. Seek out a fellow gym member who might be able to help you understand it (we call them a super-friend). Ask one of the coaches. Whatever you do, don’t give up because you didn’t understand.

If and when you see me at the gym, let me know how this worked for you. I want to hear the good and the bad. Shoot me a message on Facebook, or post it to our community page.

140211 Mobility WOD

Keepin’ it clean folks. Clean as in barbell, not Clean as in housekeeping. Although we’re gonna do some ‘housekeeping’ with the front rack position of our barbell Cleans today.

Today’s mission: CLEAN up your ridiculously tight wrists. We’re going to take the front rack position one piece at a time starting at the barbell and moving along your arm all the way to your shoulders and thoracic spine. Today is all about your junky wrists.

Anyone have a problem holding onto the bar in the front rack? Don’t be this guy:

No one should be ‘clawing’ the bar in the front rack position. At its worst, you might have your pinky slip out. There will be no clawing. Unless you have some pre-disposing injury that limits your motion – clawing is not acceptable.

If you’re doing that funky chicken hold with your barbell, you more than likely have multiple mobility issues. Today I want you to work on your wrists. Get the wrists a lil’ more mobile and you’d be amaze how much more comfortable that front rack position really can be.

Watch the following video. For today’s mWOD you can focus on min 5:40-7:00 specifically (but by all means watch the full video for some additional content).

He goes over two exercises to help with wrist extension. One without the band, and one with. If you missed the mob (short for mobility) without the band here’s a picture that simulates it. I want you to mobilize one wrist at at time (not both at the same time):


I want you to do both mobility exercises (band and without band). Take a lil’ over a min for each wrist with each exercise for a total of 5 min working on wrist mobility.

These are both passive stretches, so go slow. Use your body weight to help move your entire arm as a lever. Imagine your hand is glued to the floor. Your wrist is the door hinge and your arm is the door. I want you to oscillate the ‘door’ forward and backward. Don’t force your wrist into a painful position. You should feel a tight stretch, but not sharp knife-like pain.


All images courtesy of Google